John Makdessi vs. Kyle Watson - Kyle Watson has the obvious advantage on the ground. John Makdessi has the obvious advantage on the feet, with his insane kicks, incredible composure and overall skill. Every round starts on the feet and it will be Watson walking out to face down one of the best strikers in the lightweight division in my opinion. I guarantee you that -- win or lose -- Makdessi will eventually face the more proven mixed martial arts strikers like Dennis Siver and Jeremy Stephens. I see him finishing Watson midway through the second round. I think for the first round Watson will get tagged repeatedly as he tries to close the distance to grapple and fails, also repeatedly. Makdessi will light him up with high-light reel kicks like he did against Pat Audinwood, and it will be pretty for the fans but not for Mr. Watson. Second round TKO, as a kick lands, knocks an exhausted and beaten Watson to the mat where Makdessi finishes him with ground and pound.
Jason MacDonald vs. Ryan Jensen - Phew, this is going to be pretty intriguing actually. Both guys have been down on their luck as of late. Jason MacDonald suffered that horrible broken leg versus John Salter and then a rash of injuries afterwards. Ryan Jensen recently lost to Court McGee. I don't know, man. I think they're evenly matched on the mat with Jensen perhaps being the better striker, technically. I see Jensen pulling out a fairly entertaining decision victory here where he has a clear advantage over MacDonald but never comes close to finishing him despite that fact.
Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia - I'm a big fan of both of these guys, so all I'm hoping for -- and all I'm unbiasedly expecting -- is a great fight. I just think Menjivar will be too experienced for Valencia, no matter how tough he is. I call Menjivar via relatively early submission. Nothing spectacular, but a solid victory.
Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts - This should be interesting. Daniel Roberts has shown a lot of promise in his jiu jitsu game lately. He's had some good fights against fairly decent competition. The same does not go for Claude Patrick. He has crushed a few cans like Ricardo Funch and James Wilks, but that's not exactly impressive. Patrick will take Roberts down, that's to be expected. I just believe Roberts will threaten off his back and he'll pull something out eventually. If not, he gets laid-and-prayed to a decision like Wilks did last year.
Yves Jabouin vs. Pablo Garza - Yves Jabouin has had a few magnificent fights, showing off his incredible striking skills. His fight against Mark Hominick was a personal Fight of the Year contender, and wasn't it AFTER Leonard Garcia vs. Chang Sung Jung's legendary first fight? :D Garza's preeeeetty fucking tough too, though. I remember his flying knee knockout of... can't remember his name, but it was his UFC debut and the sound of the knee connecting was disgustingly brutal. I really don't know who to take in this fight, but it's certainly a possible Fight of the Night. Phew... I'll go with Jabouin, decision.
Sean Pierson vs. Brian Foster - I like Sean Pierson a lot and I respect Brian Foster for his toughness, so it's an odd dilemma. I gotta try to be objective. Hmm... Pierson's a tough bastard, too. He always comes forward, swings with power that demands his opponent's respect, etc. The same thing goes for Foster. So they're going to collide in the middle. I say someone's going down and I gotta say... It'll be Foster.
Nate Diaz vs. Rory MacDonald - Rory MacDonald's a tough tough kid. He really brought the fight to Carlos Condit despite the end result. But Nate Diaz always bring the fight himself. I honestly cannot wait to see this matchup and I'm glad it's featured free and live on Spike TV before the pay-per-view. It's going to be a fast-paced war on the feet and on the mat, and I have to say... Diaz will pull out the victory somehow. I really can't predict the end result other than Diaz's record on Wikipedia getting another green addition.
Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson - Phew... Another excellent fight, the first fight on the main card featured on the pay-per-view. Phew. This is a tough choice, man. Mark Bocek submitted Dustin Hazelett who I consider to have excellent, excellent jiu jitsu. Ben Henderson is NOTORIOUS for escaping submission attempts, however. He's notorious for applying them and people not escaping from them, too. It's going to be an amazing fight and.. in my opinion, somebody's going to be desperately tapping the mat. I honestly think that it will be Bocek's hand getting raised after an upset victory.
Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture - This is realistically Randy Couture's retirement fight. Or it should be, at least. If he gets manhandled by Lyoto Machida and brutally knocked out -- very big possibility -- he should hang up the gloves and focus on acting. Because he's done. Beating James Toney and beating Lyoto Machida is a whooooole different ball game, dude. Machida wins this bout via destruction. I'm not saying Randy won't have some success... but when Machida closes for the finish eventually, it will be a finish worthy of a few sympathetic winces.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz - Very intriguing matchup. Both men have good grappling but I would give Vladimir Matyushenko a considerable advantage in the striking department. I think Matyushenko can outlast Jason Brilz, win two of three rounds at least and pull out the decision victory. It won't be as exciting as the previous bouts but... Matyushenko needs the win. Brilz has it in him to win this fight, don't get me wrong. I just don't see it going down that way.
Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick - I have no idea who to pick in this one, I just know it will be action-packed from start to finish. Mark Hominick will most likely take the first round, as Jose Aldo usually takes a page out of Anderson Silva's playbook and waits out the first round. He feels his opponent out and gauges their weaknesses, etc. Hominick will take advantage of this restraint. He might be able to carry the momentum through for a finish or building up a lead of a few rounds. I think Aldo will find his range in the second round and begin taking it to Hominick and racking up the points. I think Hominick is far more game than Urijah Faber was for example, and it'll be a great fight. Aldo via close decision, to retain the belt.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields - I think this is the first time since the first Matt Hughes fight that Georges St. Pierre has faced a grappler that is truly on his level... or above it. Jake Shields' fights may be less than impressive to say the least... but the fact is, he's obviously skilled. He's been champion in several different promotions, beating several high-profile fighters in a row. He's as good a challenger for the welterweight belt that has come along since GSP himself. I see Shields taking this fight via decision. Honestly. Flame if you like.